Information and Communications Technology

Questions (388)

Alan Kelly

Question:

388. Deputy Alan Kelly asked the Minister for Business, Enterprise and Innovation her plans to protect her Department in the event of a malware attack or security risks as a result of the failure to upgrade computers from an operating system (details supplied) in her Department and the agencies under her remit; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [44736/19]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Business)

My Department does not have any computers that still use the Windows 7 operating system and has not had any for quite some time. While the use of this operating system does not present a risk to my Department, it has, in line with best practice adopted a defence in depth approach to cybersecurity protection with a combination of technological controls and processes in place.

The computer operating systems in use in agencies under the remit of my Department, and their support and maintenance, is a day to day operational matter for those agencies and not one in which I have a direct function.

Departmental Staff Data

Questions (389)

Mattie McGrath

Question:

389. Deputy Mattie McGrath asked the Minister for Business, Enterprise and Innovation the number of full and part-time staff employed in her Department; the number of such staff being paid at the minimum wage rate of pay; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [44839/19]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Business)

Remuneration of all staff of the Department is as sanctioned by the Department of Public Expenditure and Reform for various individual grades in line with Government pay policy.

The minimum entry point of all incremental payscales relevant to staff recruited to my Department, reflect an hourly rate above the current national minimum wage of €9.80 per hour. Therefore, there are no staff, either full-time or part-time, employed in my Department being paid at or below the minimum wage rate of pay.

In relation to the first part of the Deputy's question, there are a total of 917 (872.30 FTEs) staff in my Department, of which 766 are full-time and a further 151 (106.3 FTEs) have opted to avail of the terms of the Civil Service Work-Sharing Scheme.

Departmental Projects

Questions (390)

Róisín Shortall

Question:

390. Deputy Róisín Shortall asked the Minister for Business, Enterprise and Innovation the way in which her Department is conducting its review of the right to disconnect; the stakeholders she has met as part of the process; the person or bodies she has engaged to carry out research on the project; when the report will be completed; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [44878/19]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Business)

As Minister for Business, Enterprise and Innovation I understand the importance of promoting a good work-life balance for employees. This is addressed under Pillar 4 of the Government's Future Jobs Ireland strategy. Pillar 4 is focussed on increasing participation in the labour force as this will lead to the more equitable, balanced and sustainable development of Ireland’s workforce.

Pillar 4 of Future Jobs Ireland outlines a number of key ambitions and deliverables to help to increase participation in the labour force. A number of these ambitions are centred on flexible working solutions which can offer benefits for employers, employees and wider society in general. Flexible working encompasses a wide range of practices including part-time, compressed hours, job sharing, home-working and remote working. Such solutions allow for tangible benefits for employees including improving their work-life balance. It also provides solutions for those who would otherwise take unpaid parental leave but cannot afford to do so.

There are a number of key deliverables under Pillar 4 with the objective of fostering participation in the labour force through flexible working solutions. These include deliverables such as holding a national consultation on flexible working options, the development of guidance for employers on family-friendly working options, and the extension of unpaid Parental Leave.

A further deliverable under this Pillar is the completion of research on remote working. My Department is currently leading on this research which focusses on understanding the prevalence and types of remote working arrangements within the Irish workforce and the attitudes towards such arrangements. The research will identify the influencing factors for both employers and employees partaking in remote working. The research will also include an international policy review which will consider related policies abroad, such as the ‘right to disconnect’ in France, in order to understand the impacts of this on remote working.

This research will include desk research, a national employee survey, and key stakeholder engagement. In order to aid this engagement, I held a Remote Working Stakeholder Forum in Cavan Digital Hub on July 18th. The results arising from this event will be included in the final research.

The research will be completed in Q4 of this year and will be published shortly thereafter.

Enterprise Support Services Provision

Questions (391)

Robert Troy

Question:

391. Deputy Robert Troy asked the Minister for Business, Enterprise and Innovation the support avenues available to a start-up business that will be located in rural County Westmeath and will immediately create five to ten permanent positions. [44926/19]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Business)

The Local Enterprise Offices (LEOs) provide a range of supports for the micro and small business sector. The LEOs act as the “first-stop-shop” for providing advice and guidance, financial assistance and other supports to those wishing to start or grow their own business.

The LEOs can help new enterprises provided the enterprise can become commercially viable. There are three grants available to a start-up business and the LEO can also support a Loan application to Microfinance Ireland (all detailed below).

1. Feasibility Study Grants

- Feasibility Study Grants are designed to assist the promoter with researching market demand for a product or service and examining its sustainability. It includes assistance with innovation, including specific consultancy requirements, hiring of expertise from third-level colleges, private specialists, design costs and prototype development costs; and,

- the maximum levels payable in the BMW Region is 60% or €15,000, whichever is the lesser.

2. Priming Grants

- a Priming Grant is a business start-up grant available to micro enterprises within the first 18 months of start-up;

- Micro enterprises (Limited Companies, Designated Activity Companies, sole traders, co-operatives and partnerships) can apply for a Priming Grant to help them get the business started within the first 18 months of startup; and

- the maximum Priming Grant payable is 50% of the investment or €150,000 whichever is less.

3. Technical Assistance for Micro Exporters Grant

- Technical Assistance for Micro Exporters grants are a support to enable clients to take the first steps in new product, service development or in developing and exploring new market opportunities.

- the maximum grant allowable under a Technical Assistance for Micro Exporters Grant is €2,500. Funding is by way of Grant and the maximum support level is 50% of eligible costs.

The eligibility criteria for these grants is as follows: The enterprise:

- must not employ more than ten people (including the promoter);

- must be established, registered, and operate within the geographic location of the LEO;

- must operate commercially;

- must demonstrate a market for the product/service;

- must have potential for growth in domestic and/or export markets and also potential for new job creation;

- can be a manufacturing or internationally-traded services business;

- can be a domestically-traded business with the potential to trade internationally; and

- must be a business which, on growth, may or may not fit the Enterprise Ireland portfolio.

The eligibility criteria listed above are subject to certain priorities and restrictions:

- priority must be given to enterprises in the manufacturing or internationally-traded services sectors which, over time, can develop into strong export entities and graduate to the Enterprise Ireland portfolio;

- salary support may be offered to unique tourism services projects that are focused predominantly on generating revenues from overseas visitors and which do not give rise to deadweight and/or displacement in the local economy; and,

- with regard to restrictions, retail enterprises, personal services, professional services or construction and local building services are not eligible for grant aid.

Microfinance Loans (through Microfinance Ireland)

- Local Enterprise Offices can work with businesses employing 9 or less employees on their applications to Microfinance Ireland (MFI) for small business loans of between €2,000 and €25,000 (unsecured). Loans for commercially viable proposals can be used to help fund start-up costs, working capital or business expansion. By applying for an MFI small business loan through a Local Enterprise Office, clients can avail of a 1% reduction in the interest rate charged.

Training

The Local Enterprise Office is the first stop shop for information, advice and training regarding starting a business. The training supports are available for all business sectors i.e. local service and retail businesses can avail of this training. LEOs provide a wide range of high-quality training supports which are tailored to meet specific business requirements, please see the LEO Westmeath website for further information regarding training: https://www.localenterprise.ie/Westmeath/Training-Events/Training/.

IDA Ireland Site Visits

Questions (392)

Anne Rabbitte

Question:

392. Deputy Anne Rabbitte asked the Minister for Business, Enterprise and Innovation the number of IDA visits conducted in each of the years 2016 to 2018 and in each quarter to date in 2019, by county; the number of visits to Galway city and county, respectively; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [45028/19]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Business)

Regional development is a key priority for my Department. We understand the importance of achieving the best possible spread of employment and investment across the country and we have been working hard towards that goal. Significant progress has already been made, with 58% of all IDA client-supported employment now located outside of Dublin. This figure represents the highest such figure in the history of the Agency. Our aim remains to increase this percentage further by the end of this year.

When it comes to foreign direct investment (FDI), site visits do represent a valuable tool through which investors can be encouraged to invest in regional areas. However, as I have said before, site visit activity does not necessarily reflect investment potential, as a significant percentage of all new FDI comes from existing IDA client companies. Site visit data is collated on a county by county basis and information on site visits to specific cities and towns is unavailable.

County Galway has hosted a total of 35 site visits as of the third quarter of this year and continues to be a strong performer in attracting FDI. The county has seen an increase in employment numbers with almost 1,500 net new jobs created by IDA Ireland client companies in 2018. The enterprise agencies under my remit will continue to engage with their clients and with one another to secure further investment and job creation for Galway and the West region.

The table below details the number of IDA site visits per county from 2016 until the third quarter of 2019.

County

2016

2017

2018

Q1 2019

Q2 2019

Q3 2019

Carlow

9

8

7

3

3

1

Cavan

2

2

2

1

3

2

Clare

18

22

13

5

12

3

Cork

49

51

61

17

23

15

Donegal

7

2

8

1

1

4

Dublin

284

327

269

56

90

70

Galway

42

62

54

9

17

9

Kerry

3

9

10

0

2

2

Kildare

8

10

8

3

1

4

Kilkenny

10

6

5

5

2

5

Laois

6

4

10

2

1

2

Leitrim

8

5

6

0

1

1

Limerick

49

42

35

12

22

9

Longford

6

7

5

0

1

1

Louth

24

22

20

10

9

13

Mayo

5

7

10

2

0

1

Meath

8

3

6

1

1

1

Monaghan

2

1

3

1

1

2

Offaly

4

5

5

1

1

2

Roscommon

1

3

3

0

1

1

Sligo

20

18

15

8

9

7

Tipperary

8

8

5

3

2

1

Waterford

17

11

21

8

3

5

Westmeath

36

42

22

6

5

5

Wexford

7

3

3

1

1

2

Wicklow

5

2

1

4

1

1

Total

638

682

607

159

213

169

Public Procurement Contracts Data

Questions (393)

Mattie McGrath

Question:

393. Deputy Mattie McGrath asked the Minister for Business, Enterprise and Innovation the details of contracts of €25,000 or more that have been awarded by her Department or bodies under her aegis that were found to be non-compliant with procurement guidelines in 2017, 2018 and to date in 2019; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [45057/19]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Business)

Public procurement undertaken by my Department and its Offices is governed by an extensive range of national and EU rules and regulations, which are encapsulated in the National Public Procurement Policy Framework. The Office of Government Procurement (OGP) is charged with overseeing and standardising procurement processes and procedures throughout the public service.

My Department has a dedicated Procurement Co-ordination Unit, headed at Principal Officer level, which provides an advisory service and advocates best practice on public procurement matters internally to all business units. Each business unit is responsible for its own procurement of goods and services. A significant proportion of the Department’s procurement is undertaken via centralised framework arrangements put in place by the OGP.

Procurement also features prominently as part of the Comptroller and Auditor General’s (C&AG) annual audit of my Department’s Vote. In addition, the Department’s own Internal Audit Unit, also periodically conduct procurement audits, the most recent one being completed this summer.

In any given year there will always be certain circumstances where a full procurement process cannot be conducted. Typically, such instances are where:

- The provision of the required service can only be sourced from a sole supplier e.g. ICT software licenses and/or support;

- Specialist expertise is needed e.g. certain legal or translation services;

- A timing issue arises as the Department or its Offices await new OGP framework agreement(s) to be finalised for certain goods or services. In such cases, the Department or its Offices, typically have no option but to undertake a short-term extension to an existing contract until the OGP framework is in place.

All such instances are brought to the attention of the C&AG in line with Department of Finance Circular 40/2002 and as part of the Department’s annual Appropriation Account. This process involves signoff by the Principal Officer responsible for the Procurement Co-Ordination Unit and also the Secretary General in her role as Accounting Officer. The 2017 and 2018 Appropriation Accounts have been certified by the C&AG. Preparations for the 2019 Appropriation Account have recently commenced.

The C&AG noted that in 2017 there were 8 instances of short-term contract extensions where it was not possible to undertake a full procurement process. The related in-year expenditure totalled €365,000. The services contracted for included cleaning, offsite file storage, office stationery, translation costs, specialist consultancy and legal expertise. In addition, services were provided by six sole suppliers covering ICT licenses and support, telephony services and specialist publications. The related in-year expenditure to sole suppliers totalled €661,000.

In 2018 there were four instances of short-term contract extensions where it was not possible to conduct a full procurement process and these involved in-year expenditure of €310,00. The services procured covered security, translation and specialist consultancy services. In addition, services were provided by six sole suppliers covering ICT licenses and support, telephony, room hire and specialist publications. The related in-year expenditure to sole suppliers totalled €615,000.

Brexit Supports

Questions (394, 395)

Imelda Munster

Question:

394. Deputy Imelda Munster asked the Minister for Business, Enterprise and Innovation the number of market discovery fund grants approved. [45094/19]

View answer

Imelda Munster

Question:

395. Deputy Imelda Munster asked the Minister for Business, Enterprise and Innovation the number of Be Prepared grants awarded to date. [45095/19]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Business)

I propose to take Questions Nos. 394 and 395 together.

Brexit presents the most significant economic challenge of the past 50 years, and it is important that we prepare for any long-term structural and disruptive change that may emerge.

To promote awareness, and supported by a national Prepare For Brexit campaign, Enterprise Ireland designed and launched the Be Prepared Grant that offers up to €5,000 in support for the costs of SME clients in preparing a plan to mitigate risks and optimise opportunities arising from Brexit. As of 25 October 2019, 223 Be Prepared Grants have been approved by Enterprise Ireland to its clients.

A key strategy for Irish companies to withstand current global economic challenges is to diversify their export footprint. Enterprise Ireland launched the Market Discovery Fund with the aim of encouraging companies to expand into new markets by helping with the costs of researching viable and sustainable market entry strategies. As of 25 October 2019, 221 market discovery grants have been approved by Enterprise Ireland to businesses under this initiative.

Brexit Supports

Questions (396)

Imelda Munster

Question:

396. Deputy Imelda Munster asked the Minister for Business, Enterprise and Innovation the number of Brexit start planning vouchers awarded to date. [45096/19]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Business)

The “Planning Voucher” is offered by InterTradeIreland (ITI) to companies across Ireland that are preparing for Brexit. Valued at €2,250, it enables recipient firms to obtain expert advice on specific areas such as tariffs, currency management, regulatory and customs issues and movement of labour, goods and services. There has been strong demand for this scheme, with over 1,727 vouchers approved to date.

ITI expanded its range of Brexit supports in 2019 to include a new “Brexit Implementation Voucher”. Valued at €5,625, with ITI paying 50%, it allows businesses to implement critical changes, thereby making them better prepared to deal with the new trading relationship ahead.

In addition to its voucher schemes, ITI provides a range of Brexit supports and advice through its special Brexit Advisory Service.

To support ITI’s important work in helping businesses prepare for the challenges associated with Brexit, my Department is providing an additional €1 million in capital funding to ITI in 2019. This funding will enable the body to engage with even more firms through its Brexit Advisory Service, as well as meeting demand for other programmes that support cross-border trade.

Brexit Supports

Questions (397)

Imelda Munster

Question:

397. Deputy Imelda Munster asked the Minister for Business, Enterprise and Innovation the number and value of grants awarded under the Brexit loan scheme to date. [45097/19]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Business)

The Brexit Loan Scheme provides affordable working capital to eligible businesses with up to 499 employees that are or will be Brexit impacted and which meet the scheme criteria. The €23 million exchequer funding announced in the 2018 Budget (€14 million from my Department and €9 million from the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine) has been leveraged to provide a fund of up to €300 million over the lifetime of the scheme.

The scheme features a two-stage application process. First, businesses must apply to the Strategic Banking Corporation of Ireland (SBCI) to confirm their eligibility for the scheme. Businesses can use guidelines provided on the SBCI website to determine if they are eligible, and if so, to complete the eligibility form. As part of the process, businesses must submit a business plan, demonstrating the means by which they intend to innovate, change or adapt to meet their Brexit challenges. The SBCI assesses the applications and successful applicants receive an eligibility reference number.

Successful applicants can then apply for a loan under the scheme with one of the participating finance providers using their eligibility reference number. Participating finance providers are the Bank of Ireland, Ulster Bank and Allied Irish Bank. Approval of loans is subject to the finance providers' own credit policies and procedures.

As at 28 October 2019, there have been 869 applications for eligibility under the scheme, of which 779 have been approved. There have been 156 repeat applications, as eligibility under the scheme expires after six months. To date, 207 applications have progressed to sanction at finance provider level, to a total value of €45.5 million.

IDA Ireland Data

Questions (398, 405)

Imelda Munster

Question:

398. Deputy Imelda Munster asked the Minister for Business, Enterprise and Innovation the number of persons employed by businesses that received support from the IDA in 2018 and to date in 2019. [45116/19]

View answer

Imelda Munster

Question:

405. Deputy Imelda Munster asked the Minister for Business, Enterprise and Innovation the number of jobs created due to supports provided by the IDA 2018 and to date in 2019. [45123/19]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Business)

I propose to take Questions Nos. 398 and 405 together.

As Minister for Business, Enterprise and Innovation, a central objective of mine has been to create the best possible environment for enterprise, entrepreneurship and innovation. Attracting more foreign direct investment (FDI), and supporting the growth and expansion of overseas firms already located here, is an important part of that. There are currently over 230,000 people employed in companies that are supported by IDA Ireland, a number which we are working hard to increase further.

In addition to the general support that it provides to client firms through advice and expertise on investing in Ireland, the IDA is authorised by my Department to provide a range of particular financial supports in the form of employment, capital, research and development, environmental and training grants. These grants represent an important means of encouraging companies to invest in Ireland, particularly in regional locations.

In 2018, IDA Ireland paid a total of €91,046,527 in grants to its client companies. Grant payments however, are not necessarily linked to either the investments won, or the jobs created in a 12-month period. Grants are generally drawn down over the lifetime of a project which is normally over a period of three to five years. Some investments which result in job creation may not be grant aided and some well-established companies may no longer be receiving grant payments. It is therefore very difficult to determine the precise number of jobs created in 2018 and to date in 2019 that are attribute to grant payments.

Enterprise Ireland Data

Questions (399, 402)

Imelda Munster

Question:

399. Deputy Imelda Munster asked the Minister for Business, Enterprise and Innovation the number of persons employed by businesses that received support from Enterprise Ireland in 2018 and to date in 2019. [45117/19]

View answer

Imelda Munster

Question:

402. Deputy Imelda Munster asked the Minister for Business, Enterprise and Innovation the number of jobs created due to supports provided by Enterprise Ireland in 2018 and to date in 2019. [45120/19]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Business)

I propose to take Questions Nos. 399 and 402 together.

In January, I announced Enterprise Ireland’s End of Year Statement for 2018 which saw Enterprise Ireland (EI) client companies creating 18,896 new jobs in 2018. The fact that almost two thirds of these new jobs were created outside Dublin is particularly encouraging. 2018 also resulted in the highest client employment in the history of the agency with a total of 217,186 people employed in companies supported by EI.

Enterprise Ireland collects employment figures annually via the Annual Employment Survey. Therefore, year to date employment figures for 2019 are not available.

Support to client companies is tailored to meet the individual needs of each client company in order to equip them to succeed in global markets. Every EI client company is assigned a developmental adviser who works with them to identify areas that can be optimised and improved. These areas are addressed, not only through direct financial assistance, but also through a wide range of soft supports, such as mentoring and management development programmes.

Local Enterprise Offices Data

Questions (400)

Imelda Munster

Question:

400. Deputy Imelda Munster asked the Minister for Business, Enterprise and Innovation the number of persons employed by businesses that received support from local enterprise offices in 2018 and to date in 2019. [45118/19]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Business)

The Local Enterprise Offices (LEOs) have been making a hugely important contribution to our economy since their inception in 2014. Year on year they have grown their client numbers and increased the job creation in communities across the country. The LEOs are central to the continued growth of small businesses and the success of budding and future entrepreneurs.

The Local Enterprise Offices are the ‘first-stop-shop’ for providing advice and guidance, financial assistance and other supports to those wishing to start or grow their own business. The 31 LEOs nationwide are operated in partnership with Enterprise Ireland and the Local Authorities. They provide expert training, mentoring and financial assistance to entrepreneurs and small businesses who may want to start, develop or grow their company.

In 2018, the LEOs supported 36,666 people employed in 7,164 LEO client companies throughout the country. There were 3,656 new jobs created by LEO-supported companies in 2018, with an 11 per cent increase in employment in companies in the LEO portfolio last year. The 2019 LEO performance outcomes will not be known until completion of the annual employment survey of LEO clients in Q1 2020.

The LEOs publish an impact report annually, which includes details of employment performance and other key metrics and the LEO Impact Report 2018 can be found through the link below.

https://www.localenterprise.ie/Portal/Documents-and-Publications/Impact-Report-2018-/LEO_Impact_Report_2018.pdf

Údarás na Gaeltachta Data

Question No. 402 answered with Question No. 399.

Questions (401)

Imelda Munster

Question:

401. Deputy Imelda Munster asked the Minister for Business, Enterprise and Innovation the number of persons employed by businesses that received support from Údarás na Gaeltachta in 2018 and to date in 2019. [45119/19]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Business)

According to the DBEI Annual Employment Survey, total employment in Údarás na Gaeltachta client companies in 2018 was 8,326 as shown in the table below. Data for 2019 is not yet available.

Table 1: Employment in Údarás na Gaeltachta client companies in 2018

Permanent Full Time Jobs

Part-time, Temporary and Short-term Contract Employment

Total Jobs

Údarás na Gaeltachta

7,625

701

8,326

Question No. 402 answered with Question No. 399.

Údarás na Gaeltachta Data

Questions (403)

Imelda Munster

Question:

403. Deputy Imelda Munster asked the Minister for Business, Enterprise and Innovation the number of jobs created due to supports provided by Údarás na Gaeltachta in 2018 and to date in 2019. [45121/19]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Business)

According to the DBEI Annual Employment Survey and as set out in table below, there were 8,326 employed in Údarás na Gaeltachta client companies in 2018, an increase of 76 on the previous year. Data for 2019 is not yet available.

Table 1: Employment in Údarás na Gaeltachta client companies in 2017 and 2018

Permanent Full Time Jobs

Part-time, Temporary and Short-term Contract Employment

Total Jobs

2017

7,503

747

8,250

2018

7,625

701

8,326

Local Enterprise Offices Data

Question No. 405 answered with Question No. 398.

Questions (404)

Imelda Munster

Question:

404. Deputy Imelda Munster asked the Minister for Business, Enterprise and Innovation the number of jobs created due to supports provided by local enterprise offices in 2018 and to date in 2019. [45122/19]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Business)

The Local Enterprise Offices are the ‘first-stop-shop’ for providing advice and guidance, financial assistance and other supports to those wishing to start or grow their own business. Each LEO is a hub of expert advice, information and practical supports.

The LEOs can offer direct grant aid to microenterprises in the manufacturing and internationally traded services sector which, over time, have the potential to develop into strong export entities. Subject to certain eligibility criteria, the LEOs can provide financial assistance within three main categories;

- Feasibility Grants (investigating the potential of a business idea)

- Priming Grants (to part-fund a start-up)

- Business Development grants for existing businesses that want to expand.

This is the 5th year for employment growth for the Local Enterprise Offices, with a gross figure of 8,007 jobs (net 3,656) created nationwide in 2018 as a result of supports provided by the Local Enterprise Offices.

Please note that the 2019 LEO performance outcomes will not be known until completion of the annual employment survey of LEO clients in Q1 2020.

Further detail on the LEO performance in 2018 can be found through the link below.

https://www.localenterprise.ie/Portal/Documents-and-Publications/Impact-Report-2018-/LEO_Impact_Report_2018.pdf

Question No. 405 answered with Question No. 398.

Job Retention

Questions (406)

Thomas P. Broughan

Question:

406. Deputy Thomas P. Broughan asked the Minister for Business, Enterprise and Innovation the steps being taken by her Department and the IDA to source replacement industries further to significant recent job losses in Cork and Shannon. [45255/19]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Business)

The announcement of redundancies at both Novartis in Ringaskiddy and Molex in Shannon was very disappointing.

My Department, IDA Ireland and the other enterprise agencies under my remit are determined to source new investment and employment opportunities for Cork and Clare that will help offset many of these job losses. The meeting I convened in Shannon with representatives of the State's enterprise agencies and other key stakeholders was an important first step in responding to the Molex announcement. I will also be working closely with regional stakeholders in Cork through the Regional Enterprise Plan Steering Committee for the South-West to ensure that we can help the workers affected by the announcement from Novartis.

Our main priority, in both cases, is assisting those impacted find new employment opportunities. The Mid-West and South-West Regional Enterprise Plans – which I launched earlier this year – will be critical tools in that respect. These are designed to support the growth of business in the regions and their implementation will help to create quality new jobs.

Similarly, the IDA is already working hard to identify potential new investors for Clare and Cork. With respect to the former, the Agency will be marketing the Molex building to overseas firms for when the company ceases operating there. As for the latter, the planned redundancies do not take full effect until 2022 so there is at least time for intensive efforts to be taken to identify potential new investment for the area.

It is worth emphasising that the overall trend of employment and investment continues to be positive for both regions. The Mid-West region saw 1,000 net new jobs added by IDA Ireland client companies in 2018. The region has witnessed significant investment as well over the last three years and key employers in the region include many large-scale manufacturing employers such as Beckton Dickinson, Edwards Lifesciences, Analog Devices, Johnson and Johnson, Regeneron, Stryker and Zimmer. The South-West region also continues to be a very strong performer in attracting foreign direct investment, with almost 2,200 net new jobs added by multinational companies in 2018.

Youth Enterprise Initiatives

Questions (407)

Imelda Munster

Question:

407. Deputy Imelda Munster asked the Minister for Business, Enterprise and Innovation the budget allocation and the number of participants for Ireland’s Best Young Entrepreneur in 2017 and 2018. [45338/19]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Business)

The 2017 and 2018 Budget allocations and the 2017 participant data for Ireland's Best Young Entrepreneur competition organised and promoted by the Local Enterprise Offices (LEOs) in every county are set out in the Tables below. There are no IBYE participants for 2018 as the competition was postponed until 2019 and the associated funding was reallocated to the LEOs.

2017 Participants

LEO

Numbers

Carlow

41

Cavan

31

Clare

36

Cork City Cork N/W Cork South

95

Donegal

51

Dublin City

110

Dun Laoghaire Rathdown

34

Dublin Fingal

106

Dublin South

57

Galway

107

Kerry

52

Kildare

60

Kilkenny

31

Laois

71

Leitrim

18

Limerick

62

Longford

27

Louth

41

Mayo

65

Meath

27

Monaghan

32

Offaly

33

Roscommon

34

Sligo

25

Tipperary

32

Waterford

43

Westmeath

44

Wexford

54

Wicklow

52

TOTALS

1,471

Individual LEO IBYE allocations:

LEO Name

2017

2018

Carlow

73,000.00

73,000.00

Cavan

73,000.00

73,000.00

Clare

73,000.00

73,000.00

Cork City

73,000.00

73,000.00

Cork North/ West

73,000.00

73,000.00

Cork South

73,000.00

73,000.00

Donegal

73,000.00

73,000.00

Dublin City

73,000.00

73,000.00

Dublin South

73,000.00

73,000.00

Dun Laoghaire/ Rathdown

73,000.00

73,000.00

Fingal

73,000.00

73,000.00

Galway

73,000.00

73,000.00

Kerry

73,000.00

73,000.00

Kildare

73,000.00

73,000.00

Kilkenny

73,000.00

73,000.00

Laois

73,000.00

73,000.00

Leitrim

73,000.00

73,000.00

Limerick

73,000.00

73,000.00

Longford

73,000.00

73,000.00

Louth

73,000.00

73,000.00

Mayo

73,000.00

73,000.00

Meath

73,000.00

73,000.00

Monaghan

73,000.00

73,000.00

Offaly

73,000.00

73,000.00

Roscommon

73,000.00

73,000.00

Sligo

73,000.00

73,000.00

Tipperary

73,000.00

73,000.00

Waterford

73,000.00

73,000.00

Westmeath

73,000.00

73,000.00

Wexford

73,000.00

73,000.00

Wicklow

73,000.00

73,000.00

National Investment Fund

100,000.00

100,000.00

Administrative Allocation

242,224.99

174,955.25

TOTAL

€2,605,224.99

€2,537,955.25